Mixed Container Inspiration: Burgundy, Green, Chartreuse

I purchased this particular large, green, plastic container used and for only one dollar at a plant sale in the spring of 2010. It’s not particularly beautiful, but isn’t offensive either — I recognized it right away as a good sized tub with an uncommon depth and girth that would make a happy home for several plants.

I originally used the pot for a mixed scented geranium (Pelargonium) planting that I had in mind at the time. If you’re curious, a photo of it appears on page 123 of my new book, “Easy Growing: Organic Herbs & Edible Flowers from Small Spaces“.

Close up on ‘Mint Mocha’ coleus.

With more space to grow in the ground last year, I allowed myself room to play with ornamentals and even gave up more coveted container space to them. This time around I wanted to plant something in the big green bin that would quickly hang over and hide it completely.

The container just after it was planted back in June 2011. The plant in the background is ‘Curly’ mint (Mentha spicata crispa)

The mix I settled on contained the following plants (clockwise from the front): ‘Garnet Lace’ Ipomoea (sweet potato), ‘Mojito’ mint (one of my top 2 mint varieties for taste), ‘Mint Mocha’ coleus, and ‘Chocolate-Mint’ scented geranium in the back. The mint and scented geranium are edible and so are the tubers of the ipomoea, although ornamental sweet potato varieties rarely produce much to speak of. The coleus is not edible, but it sure was pretty to look at.

The container in context. I set it next to my ramshackle shed door at the back of the garden where it received very near full sun. The thing with the holes above it is a wild bee nesting box.


Please Note: The ‘Garnet Lace’ ipomoea plants were provided by Proven Winners in a pack of 2010 new variety sample plants. I chose the ‘Mojito’ mint and coleus from a 2010 preview event hosted by Loblaw. As a professional garden writer, I often receive samples of new plant varieties to try; however, all opinions, images, perspectives, experiences, and text are mine. I write about my experience with these plants as truthfully and fairly as those that I buy with my own money.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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3 thoughts on “Mixed Container Inspiration: Burgundy, Green, Chartreuse

  1. All three plants are not that common. They look amazing planted together. The purple plant looks very similar to purple heart, a variety of wandering jew plant.

  2. Hi! I just found your site about 3 month ago and have become obsessed with gardening… well it’s not entirely your fault. I come from Miami, FL originally and when I moved to north Florida I adapted very quickly to the country lifestyle. Then I met AJ (my husband) and I basically got thrown into nature… literally. We love the outdoors, we hike, fish, kayak, ride our bikes, etc. He knew that I always enjoyed growing vegetables but the extent of that was only ever a 4 x 4 space so he asked if I wanted him to build me a raised bed to plant veggies, thats when it all started… now I have 2 6 x 4 raised beds and a 3 x 2. Plus pots everywhere!!! (5 tomatoes, 4 green pepper, 3 sweet banana pepper, sweet basil, 6 sweet peas, 6 shallots, 6 garlic, 2 strawberry, 3 cantalope, 1 chile de arbol… most of which I dried the seeds myself and began growing in my little greenhouse 1 month ago) AND tons of bulbs (dinnerplate dahlias, lily of the vally, calla lilies, ranunculus) plus hydrangeas, cyclamens, snapdragons, and 7 orchids. Next on the list is 2 fruit trees and then I think I’m done (haven’t decided which yet, it’s hard to pick only 2, suggestions? remember I live in North Florida). After this very long history of how my obsession with gardening started, I would like to say that when I found this website I was extremely extremely happy :) Love all the tips and cool plants. I’ve gotten many ideas from you :)

  3. I love the coleus with ruffled leaves. I had one called Henna last year. it was so pretty. I’m hoping to find it again this year.

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